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To Digitize or Not Digitize the Family Photo Album?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the keeping-alive-the-good-times dept.

Technology 398

animys asks: "In the last few years, we have begun to witness the inevitable shift from 35mm cameras to high resolution, cheap, consumer oriented digital cameras; with this, the move away from a tangible photo album has also ensued. This change has obviously left many families with huge amounts of developed pictures and albums. For reasons of preservation and usability, some families would like to convert their previously taken pictures to a digital medium - yet many have hundreds or even thousands of pictures. What type of tools can the DIY'er use to make this process easier? Beyond the obvious scanner and graphics package, is there any good quality software that can augment this arduous and possibly over-daunting task?" What about folks looking to do the opposite? Most people take decent care of their albums, and the pictures are always viewable regardless of the changes in technology. What options are there for those folks looking to make near-picture-quality hardcopies of their digital photos for inclusion in their albums?

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Please digitize (-1, Flamebait)

Phist Phucker (587366) | more than 12 years ago | (#3791989)

my cock going in your ASS!

All hail the power of the CLIT!

Both (5, Insightful)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 12 years ago | (#3791994)

I have my own photo albums hiding under the coffee table. Its easy to pull out when you want to talk about something, and its very intimate. But to say, hay lets go up to the computer room, or let me get my laptop, is not as nice.

I still have my photos in digital format on CDROMs for safe keeping and for use on my website. But that will certainly not replace the old photo album. Plus think of the pictures handing on the walls in your house with all the children and such.

Gotta have both dude.

iphoto (5, Interesting)

nuhonda (256188) | more than 12 years ago | (#3791996)

I'll chime in and say that on the Mac, iPhoto is really a killer tool for organizing photos.

and the picture books that you can create with it are nothing short of impressive. handing one of those out to my cousin from the picture i took at here wedding as really impressive.

Re:iphoto (2)

elmegil (12001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792022)

So how long before we see Open Source and/or windows clones of iPhoto?

Re:iphoto (-1, Flamebait)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792129)

So how long before we see Open Source and/or windows clones of iPhoto?

My guess? Never. "One-click" simplicity? From the open-source folks? It'll never happen. Every multi-tiered step of any OSS creative process has to have at least twelve options. Again and again, OSS developers confuse "complexity" with "power" and create ponderously complicated software for geeks, by geeks.

Prove me wrong, kids; prove me wrong.


Re:iphoto (2, Informative)

neuroticia (557805) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792161)

Ermph. ::mutters under my breath:: bloody navigation at the BOTTOM of the help pages. ::mutter mutter:: create administrator password then jump through hoops to enable root. ::mutter growl hiss spit::

There are plenty of things in the OSS world that have one-click simplicity. It just depends where you click. And know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. It means you can use the software the way YOU think it should be used, and not the way some programmer has decided is the simplest way.

Since when are options a bad thing?


Re:iphoto (5, Informative)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792056)

With iPhoto it's as easy to make an online album as it is to make a coffee table book as it is to get prints from Kodak. And the prints I got back from Kodak were very, very good. I sent 10 images shot with an Epson PhotoPC 3100Z [] , without cropping, without adjustments of any kind. When they came back they were indistinguishable from film shots. I even ran them by two professional photographers I know who were very impressed as well. (To see some jpgs of the digitals I shot go here. Warning: I'm not a good photographer!) []

I paid $0.49 per 4x6. This seemed quite steep to me before I realized that I had the privelage of only sending photos that I already knew were print-worthy. Plus I had a chance to crop and color-correct them if I wished. When you figure it that way, it's not so outrageous. The prices for going from digital to photo paper printed are as follows:

4x6 - $0.49
5x7 - $0.99
wallet (4) - $1.79
8x10 - $3.99
16x20 - $14.99
20x30 - $19.99

Barren Realms Elite (-1)

flaw1 (572429) | more than 12 years ago | (#3791997)

Mad propz to Mehul Patel.
Barren Realms fo' life, yo!

Gallery (3, Informative)

sloop (135178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792001)

Somewhat related, once you get all of those pictures digitized, the best tool for keeping track of them is:

Apache+PHP and you're ready to go. Gallery is the best photo gallery/organizer package I've seen.

Re:Gallery (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792021)

For some reason I don't see many of the people this question is asked by running their own apache server with PHP. Needing to set up a web server to run an app that is to be mostly used locally is a mistake only a geek would make.

Re:Gallery (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792085)

Who besides geeks reads slashdot??

Re:Gallery (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792032)

Assuming you have a web server you have control over.....and for those of us who don't?

Re:Gallery (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792049)

Install Apache and PHP on your computer, takes about 15 minutes. It'll even work in Windows :p

Re:Gallery (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792112)

Uh. No. Last time I checked, Windows was the most insecure OS on the planet. Even my linux box does not get connected with a server on it to the internet directly. I do not port forward incoming traffic to my machines because I don't have time to play the keeping up with the script kiddies game. I have enough work to do at work, thanks.

Re:Gallery (2)

mike_the_kid (58164) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792160)

Just because you run a webserver, you do not have to make it vulnerable to script kiddies. Its pretty easy to make it listen only to Its even easier to block all incoming traffic (except for those that are part of an established state) at the firewall (which it sounds like you're doing). Its a lot easier to restrict access to the web server than it is to keep up with all the patches. Allowing the webserver to only recieve traffic from local (ie, trusted) addresses, such as those on your private network, is still pretty useful.

Re:Gallery (1)

Mike McTernan (260224) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792075)

Try qgallery [] instead.

Cool tool - any other "My Yahoo Organizer" clones? (1)

PatSmarty (135304) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792123)

Really cool tool if you have your own webserver, thanks mentioning it!

I can see a future where more and more people get rid of their Yahoo/Lycos/whatever accounts because they can't stand the ads - and at this moment, Gallery can find its place as a replacement for "Yahoo Photos".

Actually, I'm right now in this process (because of the ads and because I wanna own+control my stuff). I'm still looking for other "My Yahoo! Organzer" clones to use with Perl/PHP:
- notepad
- calendar
- address
- briefcase (file upload/download)
- bookmarks
- webmail

There are tools for most of these tasks, but what I'm really looking for is an integrated thing that has the same usability in all tools and allows to jump from one tool to the other in some cases (like clicking an email address in the address tool would bring you to the webmail tool and has already filled out the "to:" field). Is anybody aware of such a program?

don't only convert (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792003)

digital copies are great, but the archival properties of photographic processes ensure that they will make your pictures last far longer than whatever current technology you will need to convert from in 3 years.

Re:don't only convert (2, Insightful)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792140)

"the pictures are always viewable"
"archival properties of photographic processes"

Wrong. Photo prints fade. Look at family color pictures from 1970. Black and white before then. And once it has faded, it is gone.

  • There are two advantages in archiving in digital form:
  • The digital copy can be refreshed perfectly by making a copy. If a CD-R will fade in 10 years, you can copy it every 5 years and never lose data.
  • When you get a DVD-R and CD-ROM drives start to vanish, copying your entire collection is certainly easier than making backups of your film prints. And your CD-R images will be easier to handle because they'll fit on fewer DVDs. Repeat with future technologies...

Re:don't only convert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792185)


Color prints do fade, but properly processed and properly stored black and white negatives and prints can last for centuries.

Either one will greatly outlast any type of magnetic storage. As you say, CD and DVD will probably last longer, but the jury's still out on that. Pressed CD and DVD are probably reasonably durable. Writable discs are considerably less so.

And let's not forget that a photographic print or negative can be viewed directly, without ANY technology. Something to think about, if you consider that civilization might fall at some point.

I have information in digital form that's only 10 years old that I can't access any more, because I don't have the equipment to read it. Your recopy as needed scheme is only good if you realize at the time the technology changes that you might need the data in the future. If you don't realize that you need it until 5 years later, you're SOL.

Printing at various degrees of expense. (2)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792005)

A colour laser print will look decent, and should last if you laminate it. These services will be fairly cheap, and should be available at the local large photocopy shop.

For a nicer picture, if I recall correctly, sublimation printing produces an image that looks a lot like a photograph, but I haven't seen the output from a sublimation printer in years, so my memory could be off.

Lastly, you could just make a printout at fantastically high resolution and re-photograph with an ordinary camera to get a photo that will last decades or longer with minimum fuss. Be sure to use a tripod for this, as small movements will blur the image.

Lastly, the most practical solution for the future is probably just to carry both digital and analog cameras. Use the digital camera for most things, and take a handful of old-fashioned pictures for the images you want to be there for your great-grandkids to see.

As mentioned above, I haven't followed the higher-end printing options for a while. Does anyone have more up-to-date information on this?

Re:Printing at various degrees of expense. (2, Interesting)

Tink2000 (524407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792137)

For high end, the Phaser series that Xerox acquired from Tektronix were always the best (but look out on the supplies costs). More info can be found here -> For the consumer, I find the HP 11** series to be the best for most folks. A nice twist here is the ability to insert camera media (CF and SM) directly into the printer and print from there. More info here -> hp?high_level_category_id=2&category_id=1

Re:Printing at various degrees of expense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792158)

My wife is an amateur photographer and she always takes in 35mm and scans. Then photoshops. Then she takes a zip disk with a high res JPEG to Walmart (not all stores do it..) and they print it for her on their machine in the photo lab. It comes out a real print and it is the same price as getting reprints of negatives. (29 cents for 4x6 if I remember correctly.)

Gallery is some good software (1)

bdowne01 (30824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792006)

I've done pretty much all of my converting to digial format, and as long as you have a permanent archive (burn them to CD-R), I'm not worried about "losing" them.

I've messed with a bunch of web-based photo albums, but the best software I've found to date is "Gallery" (

It's very simple to set up and use, and does most of the work for you. Best part, the source it GPL'd

If you like, you can see my set up here:

Re:Gallery is some good software (4, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792046)

...and as long as you have a permanent archive (burn them to CD-R), I'm not worried about "losing" them.
That's kind of the point, though. There are two questions to consider: physical longevity, and ability to read the data format.

On physical longevity, here's some info based on testing by the manufacturers [] :

We predict the lifetime of KODAK Photo CD, and KODAK Writable CD Media with InfoGuard Protection System, under normal storage conditions in an office or home environment, should be 100 years or more.
Well, great. Of course we have some photos in our family collection that are 120 years old, and could still make prints from the negatives. Are you sure the CDs will last that long?

File format longevity is the real killer, though. I have quite a few 5.25" floppy disks with documents that were created in industry-leading formats in the mid-1980s. I would like to retrieve some of them, but I (a) haven't seen a 5.25" floppy drive in years (b) can't find any software that will read those formats. And that is only 17 years! Do you really trust your family's history to the idea that JPEGs, for example, will still be readable in 2102?


Re:Gallery is some good software (1)

Maditude (473526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792083)

Do you really trust your family's history to the idea that JPEGs, for example, will still be readable in 2102?

Sure, why not? The source-code for jpegs is readily obtainable. I wouldn't be so sure about any of those proprietary formats, such as PhotoShop and others use, however. While they might be fine for lossless processing, one would be foolish to store his archival pictures in a format that you don't have full source-code access to.

Re:Gallery is some good software (2)

bdowne01 (30824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792093)

Good point..

But I think the problem of being unable to read certain formats is minimal. For example, i'm in the process of converting a lot of my old VCR tapes over to DVD.

It's just a matter of maintenance. Really the only time you'd have an issue is if someone lost it, and it wasn't found for 100 years.

Re:Gallery is some good software (1)

MrNovember (310587) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792172)

Absolutely true. I've worked with some professional librarians who've told me that some projects are actually printing digital media onto archival paper. Not the picture either -- the bytes that make up the picture. Bizarre but when you realize that paper lasts something like 600 years if taken care of, you can always OCR it back in.

As for me, despite being a tech head, you'll have to pry my analog camera out of my cold dead hand for images I care about. Technology changes so fast that in 10 more years, you WILL NOT be able to read 5.25" floppies unless you have some special equipment (or some really old equipment).

Re:Gallery is some good software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792060)

Is a CD-R really permanent? I don' think so. You'll have to make a fresh copy every 20 years (?) or so.

This is important to remember because if the CD degrades, it will likely become completely useless. Printed photos degrade, but the image is still there.

Use Photoshop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792008)

I'm not a digital imaging expert, but I faced the same problem and the way I am plannning to solve it is to use my epson 1240u scanner to scan pictures in (it can scan two pictures in as separate images in one scanning pass) then use a photoshop macro to do some post-processing to get the colors right and to save the files. I would have preferred to use the scanning software to scan the colors right in the first place but there is no way to change the default scanning settings for the auto-scanning function (that I know of). :(

The obvious answer: (1)

kwishot (453761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792012)

A least for any future pictures you may take.
Kodak Picture CD. You're still stuck paying the insane developing fees and a little extra for the cd - but you have both physical and digital copies of your pictures with no work involved.

Re:The obvious answer: (0)

s10god (409764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792143)

Kodak Picture CD, lock up your machine faster than an overheated ATHLON.

Distributed Albums (3, Insightful)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792015)

I have recently seen a rise is "Distributed" online family albums. With things like Yahoo Groups, and whatever MSN's is (I refuse to get a passport account), families and friends are adding photo's to the same "virtual album" from all over the county. That is the "major revolution" I am seeing in the area.

What I find even more interesting is techies arn't always the ones setting them up and using them. A lot of people who can barely use a digital camera are getting in on the act.

Not sure if this helps or not, but places like Yahoo Groups work great for setting up albums with a short term storage outlook.


Other options (2)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792167)

Damn, I think you solved a problem I've been worrying over. I said I would set up a site for my family, especially to help coordinate our family reunion. What are the other options besides Yahoo Groups? Are there any more focused options?

A company that does this stuff... (1)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792016)

Try out these people:
or read this article about them: le/0,1713,BDC_2462_1223422,00.html

Also, this isn't a shameless plug, I'm in no way affiliated, just what I've seen recently.

Re:A company that does this stuff... (1)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792045)

My attempt at making the links 'clickable'
<ecode></ecode >

<ecode><a href:= / rtic le/0,1713,BDC_2462_1223422,00.html>blag</a&g t;</ecode>

Re:A company that does this stuff... (1)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792065)

My attempt at making the links 'clickable'
LifePics []

The article about them []

Identifying those unlabeled photos (5, Interesting)

texchanchan (471739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792017)

I'd like to see a worldwide snapshot database combined with post-911-level pattern recognition routines.

Upload your grandmother's album and find out: Who is that standing there at the beach with Dad and Aunt Edna in 1952? The database project would be able to figure it out.

What a boon for genealogists.

(And, yes, a problem for people with something to hide about what they were doing in 1952 or who their ancestor was in 1876. But it's going to be a transparent society [] anyway, and we're going to have to get used to it.)

Get real pea-brain (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792018)

If any of you think that a digital photo is going to be around 10,no 5 years from now without having faded out you're an idiot. Digi-pics don't last worth squat.

Re:Get real pea-brain (2)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792100)

How exactly does a digital photo "fade"? If you mean a ragged-ass inkjet print, then sure I can see that. But I send my digtals to Kodak and get them back on photo paper just like you'd get giving film to the Walmart processor. See my post above in the "iPhoto" thread.

A scanner and a scriptable graphics programm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792019)

Obviously, you have to scan the pictures and unless you're more interested in preserving the pictures now to stop analogue degradation, you will probably correct any color defects which have already occurred. So yes, you want a scanner and a graphics program. Use one with macro or scripting functions. But other than that, a good archive is a lot of non-automatic work: Classifying pictures, entering dates, comments and maybe keywords, finetuning colors, etc.

When all "raw" data is on the computer, presentation is almost automatic. Thumbnail- and website generators are a dime a dozen and the choice is mostly according to personal preference.

Printing Digital Prints (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792024)

There are several ways to do this, beyond the color inkjet/dye sub solutions. I've seen a number of photo shops that offer instant printing from disk/flas memeory/CDs. The results are satisfactory - it looks like a regular print, and cost competitive with color printers. I personally use a CF card and transfer the prints from my PC to it via a USB cardreader. A card and reader can be had for less than $50. I like it over CDRs because transfer times are faster, and with a $10 PCCard adpater, I can use it with my notebook as well.

There are online services that let you upload images and then order prints, I've used OFTO and liked the results, but its just as cheap and faster to run to my nearest chain camera shop.

Finally, Kinkos can make poster size copies on various media, including foamboard and canvas. They tend to be expensive, but offer some interesting printing options.

converting photos to digital (1)

heimotikka (588619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792026)

If you have lots of slides and negatives and want them into digital format - I would use some service, there are several companies doing scanning and restoration of photos. This is quite a good subject - what will happen as we're moving from regular photos to digital - will the grand children have anything to look at? Paper has a quite nice user interface, world's oldest picture is almost 200 years... and doesn't need cd-rom drive or spesific software to look. Should we be concerned? It's very easy to destroy hundreds or thousands of digital pictures, but with proper cautions the quality of pictures won't be affected by time.

Open source stuff (1)

T5 (308759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792028)

I've used Gallery [] for creations of lesser importance. It seems to have the features you'd want/need to organize a family album.

For photo quality prints (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792029)

try [] or [] . they both do a terrific job, are reasonalby prices, and use real photographic paper.

VueScan (2)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792030)

VueScan [] is a really great scanning package for Linux GTK, MacOS, or Win32. Cheap, too.

Re:VueScan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792147)

It is not
  • Free
  • Open Source
And they support M$ and Crapple. I'll pass.

Online photo albums (1)

Avakado (520285) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792031)

My dad stores his pictures in a huge online archive for private photos. This site allows him to "organize" his pictures in some manner, and order paper copies of a chosen selection for a relatively small amount of money (cheaper than paper photos, and with indistinguishable quality). Apart from the price of the paper copies, the archive is completely free to use, and you can upload an "unlimited" amount of pictures. I don't remember the name of it at the moment (besides, it only targets the Norwegian market), but I'm sure there are more such services on the net.

Converting to all-digital is a bad idea.. (1)

198348726583297634 (14535) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792033)

I bought my first digital camera when they were still relatively new and quite expensive, and immediately started keeping a record of my life (something I wouldn't do with the hassle of a film camera)- which is great when I want to tell far-away people about the time I had to abandon my car in Canada, but pretty lousy when I want to show them at a party or whatever.

My fianceé just got a very nice consumer-oriented film camera, which we're now using at least as much as my very nice pro-sumer digital camera (which is nice enough that it can make very attractive prints up to 8x10), and probably more. Why? Cause the pictures we take with hers we have around for all time, or until the paper degrades. We can look at them whenever we want, in any room of the house, without having to stare at a screen--without having to zoom out or resize the picture to make it all viewable! If the power's out, or the computer's off, or we're sitting outside, we can still look at the real albums.

Having the tactile feedback of handling a photo album adds to the experience, too, you know? It increases the "reality" of the experience.. the computer is more like a slide-show.

If anything, I'd want to find a way to cheaply convert a digital photo album back to the real world. Right now it's too expensive. Any suggestions, anyone? those consumer color printers don't do the trick, that's for sure..

Re:Converting to all-digital is a bad idea.. (4, Interesting)

KernelHappy (517524) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792081)

Have you used any of the newer ink jets? I use a Epson Photo Stylus 870 with glossy inkjet paper to print snapshots from our Canon G1 and I have been quite happy with the results. If you consider that I take lots of pictures and then print out only the best ones the cost for ink and paper comes out cheaper than a roll of 35mm film and developing for the whole roll to get maybe 10-15 nice prints (smaller too).

Unless your doing fine art photography a good ink jet should be more than sufficient and quite economical. Personally I still don't feel digital photography is ready for fine art shooting. That aside I'm considering adding the new Nikon D100 body to my arsenal to compliment my N90s, N70 and 6006.

It can be a pain...but it's worth it (1)

IronTek (153138) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792034)

A little over a year ago, I took all my photos from various years at camp [] and decided I wanted them digitized.

I had over 200 photos to scan on my newly purchased, but definitely consumer-level Umax Astra 3400.

Over the course of a month, I would lay 3 or 4 photos at a time on the scanner, and scan them in 600dpi so I would never have to scan them again! Then I spent many hours sepearting the pictures and removing dust, spots, etc. that my have cropped up on the photo anywhere between flaws in the object in frame to possilbe dust lying on the scanner, and saved them individually, one-by-one.

Further, I used a Photoshop action to convert and save the photos at various other resolutions, so I could just quickly look over photos if I wanted to but didn't need all the detail available with the original scanned pictures.

Again, this took a little over a month, working mostly on weekends, and I was pretty burned out, as far as scanning stuff goes, for a very, very long time after, but it was well worth it...and soon after I bout a digital camera! I'll never have to do that again!

I do honestly think the key though was to take the time and scan at a very high resolution in the firstplace. Not only will this offer the same or (sorta) better quality (depending on how you look at it) than the original print, but it should also withstand least to the point of whatever better equipment comes out won't matter a whole lot because you've already scanned your photos at "more than adequate" resolution.

Re:It can be a pain...but it's worth it (2)

sphealey (2855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792067)

Again, this took a little over a month, working mostly on weekends, and I was pretty burned out, as far as scanning stuff goes, for a very, very long time after, but it was well worth it...and soon after I bout a digital camera! I'll never have to do that again!
Well, I have seen a friend (admittedly someone good at this) build a 25 page, 500 picture conventional photo album in 30 minutes. That's with sorting, layout, "cropping" (using a scissors), and attaching. Very artfully arranged, easily transported, and good for at least 100 years. I guess I can't help but think of that when I see someone mousing away at Photoshop...


Re:It can be a pain...but it's worth it (1)

IronTek (153138) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792165)

How do you fit 500 pictures in 25 pages? Seems kinda hard to do!

At any rate, the point is well taken about a conventional photo album, but I'm a computer geek! I'm at my computer all the time, so guess where I want my photos to be?! :-)

And, another point that should be mentioned, is that it's only good for 100 years if it's safe. Should a fire, hurricane, etc. strike, they're gone.

I have several backups of my digital photos in various places...if the original photos and negatives get destroyed, it sucks...but it's not a huge loss...

ACDSee (1)

FigBugDeux (257259) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792035)

I just have to say ACDSee, greatest software ever!

Re:ACDSee (1)

FigBugDeux (257259) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792052)

Oooooh, and maybe you want to make archives of photos, but still be ale to see the pictures in the archives. Then I say, ACDZip!

What about 10 years from now? (1)

MoTec (23112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792036)

I'd be a little concerned about having the ability to access digital pictures 10 or 20 years from now because of changing standards. I can look in an old picture album and see pictures of my great-grandparents that were taken over 60 years ago.

How likely is it that I'm going to be able to read a CD-R I've burned with my family pictures 40 years from now?

Re:What about 10 years from now? (3, Informative)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792063)

I think that's a very good point. You'll have to continue to copy everything to new mediums until either the mediums are no longer compatible or until TCPA/Palladium rules our entire computer. However, I don't think the standards of eyesight will ever go out of style. I'd mod you up if I could.

I guess the best thing you can do is *always* keep actual pictures, whether they are printed or developed. They don't have to always be organized. You can fit over a hundred pictures in a shoebox easily.

migrate when needed. (2)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792111)

i have alot of stuff on cdr. when it looks like cdr's are no longer an option i plan on migrating my stuff over to the next best thing. what that thing might be, i dont know, but it'll be there. it might take a couple weeks worth of evenings, but if the data is worth it to you you'll do it.

Dedicated Film/Slide scanner a must (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792037)

Don't opt for the negative scanner for a flatbed.
For approximately $400 you can get a mid-range
2400dpi film/slide/5x7 print scanner from HP
(HP S20). That said, there are many other models
out there, with higher scan resolutions for

Your biggest obstacle will be dust and scratches,
so be patient. (If I'm not mistaken some scanners
have built-in spot correction...)

Re:Dedicated Film/Slide scanner a must (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792106)

Following-up my own post...(Don't know why I'm
posting. AC posts largely ignored.)

Through I found the following link
for noise reduction software.

Not every shot is crisp and clear, so time is
spent on clean-up. Whether the above is better
than the options in PSP or Photoshop is unclear.

The question (2, Insightful)

benh57 (525452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792038)

The question was: how do you make the process of scanning thousands of pictures in easier? Editor, printing is not a big deal. The original question is far more interesting - I don't really feel like individually placing 2500 photos on my flatbed scanner. Is there a hardware device to quickly scan photos?

Re:The question (1)

FueledByRamen (581784) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792170)

Do you still have the negatives? Nikon makes some very, very nice (and fairly expensive) negative scanners - some will even feed a strip through automagically and dump each picture to a file. They hook up via SCSI. I used one of these (a cheaper version, 1 negative at a time) to scan about 200 pictures and 300 slides at one point, and it made the task very easy.

Foofy Software but it works (4, Informative)

KernelHappy (517524) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792039)

Photos fade, tear, warp, discolor and get soggy. I have personally begun building an archive of family photos by scanning them. I am using a HP 5300C scanner, not complete crap but its definately not a professional scanner but it gets the job done. I figure something is better than nothing.

I tend to save two copies of each image, one exactly as it is scanned, the other corrected and repaired if necessary.

I have found one piece of software that is fairly nifty, the Canon Zoom Browser EX that came with my Canon G1 digital camera. It lacks some of the features I wish it had and sure it has a very foofy interface but it works well for previewing a couple thousand images and organizing them.

I personally wish that there was a standard and widely used way of tagging each picture for archive and retrieval purposes. It would be nice to tag each picture with the date and names of people or scenes depicted in them. The ability to pull up every picture with great great great grandpappy in it would very handy. As it is now I have to name every picture with the date and the people depicted, then sort them into some arbitrary folder that more directly relates to me than to the overall family tree.

Re:Foofy Software but it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792104)

I tend to save two copies of each image, one exactly as it is scanned, the other corrected and repaired if necessary.

Hey I do that too. I keep all the original scans/photos in one folder, and have the "presentation" folder where pictures have been rotated, adjusted, etc.

Picture tagging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792132)

I personally wish that there was a standard and widely used way of tagging each picture for archive and retrieval purposes.

We have EXIF and it is especially for this purpose: to store data about the picture (date, comment, etc) It is available for JPEG and (I believe) also for TIFF formats.

[ Perhaps you noticed that ZoomBrowser happens to know a lot about the pictures you have taken with your G1 - it uses the EXIF field ]

Re:Picture tagging (2)

KernelHappy (517524) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792148)

Actually I have noticed it, but outside of the Canon ZoomBrowser not many applications use it, I'm not sure many programs even leave it intact if you resave the image.

T o Digitize (5, Informative)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792041)

Skip over the Scanning of the actual photo, and get a negative scanner.

They work faster, better, and have some automation to them. Unfortunately, most 35mm negatives are chopped into blocks of four, but that will at least 1/4 your time spent monitoring the machine.

If you switched to the newer APS film, the negative scanner can run through the whole row.

Here [] is one that does both 35mm and APS. There are also other reviews on that site of different models.

Re:T o Digitize (2)

KernelHappy (517524) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792138)

If your a hobbyist photographer that shoots a lot of color film (slide or print) a negative/slide scanner can save you time and money. Rather than bring your film to a lab to have it developed and printed you can use a automated film processor which will cut down turn around time and in the long run the cost of developing celluloid. A good slide/negative scanner will make it easy to preview your work before having prints enlarged and cropped saving more time and money.

I don't recommend this as an alternative for people who shoot B&W since color developing is a process, B&W developing is an art. Additionally developing and printing B&W is easier from a technical stand point if not an artistic one and the hardware involved is cheaper.

Web-based galleries: Curator (3, Informative)

gregbaker (22648) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792043)

I recently started scanning pictures with the intent of creating an HTML-based gallery on a CD that could be passed around.

The best gallery creator I found was Curator [] . It takes directories of pictures and creates static HTML from arbitrarily-customizable templates. You can create description files for each picture and have them incorporated into the pages. The templates are written in a combination of HTML and Python.

Creating the templates takes some doing, but after that, everything's dead simple.

Re:Web-based galleries: Curator (1)

cmallinson (538852) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792127)

Photoshop (6 or 7) has a similar feature, and can make decent HTML photo albums from a folder of photos.

Digital to Paper in Norway (1)

^DA (82715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792050)

Go to Eurofoto [] I recently had some 2.3MPix pictures developed there (on real photo paper) and the results were excellent. You also get 10 free pictures when you sign up.

Re:Digital to Paper in Norway (2)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792074)

Since I'm a slave to the English language and American monetary system, could you approximate how much it costs per pic (in any currency - I can translate that). I always wondered if these services existed.

Re:Digital to Paper in Norway (1)

^DA (82715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792105)

They start at 2.90 NKR per picture (about 40 cents)

To Digitize, but carefully (1)

Dan Aloni (584167) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792054)

Yes, if you don't want the old pictures to look yellowish in about 50 years or so. Also If you wish not to lose the only copys of your old photos in case your house burns down or something like that. I strongly recommend to digitize the albums. The same goes for home videos, which are recorded on a magnetic tape.

Though, there are number of points:
1. If the time doing all the scans, or maybe if buying a scanner is unwanted, you can pay someone who has a very high quality scanner to do the scans for you.
2. Make sure the photos are scanned in a satisfing resolution (i.e, like 2400x1600, using 3 bytes per pixel).
3. Make a lot of digital copies of the albums. Put these copies in different locations.
4. Use different storage medias (tapes, CDs, Internet file servers, hard drives), so in case one of them ceased to be exists or ceased to be supported when new hardware doesn't read old media in the not so far future, you can always try the other mediums. AFAIK, burnt CDs may become unusable after 50 years even if not used.
5. Save the original albums, just in case, so that your old 90 years old grandmother wouldn't need to tackle your Linux box in order to browse the photos...

Automated process required (2)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792057)

What we need is a cheap device in to which photos or negatives can be fed en masse. I think negatives would be better as I'm sure there will be fewer problems with colour reproduction. Scanning photos with a flatbed is slow, time consuming and annoying. Does anybody know of a solution?

Personally, I'm not ready to give up physical photos. I think they're the best presentation medium. Certainly the most universal. Most of the suggestions that people make for moving digital pictures in to the physical world don't result in the same quality of production.

What does it take to print a digital picture on photographic quality paper/card with a matte or gloss finish and comparable picture quality to tradition photos? How much does it cost?

Re:Automated process required (2)

Maditude (473526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792142)

What does it take to print a digital picture on photographic quality paper/card with a matte or gloss finish and comparable picture quality to tradition photos? How much does it cost?

Uhm, $0.26 per picture for 4x6 at, and the prints are very good. I like them better than ophoto and a couple of other online printing places I've tried. I still have a nice inkjet (Epson Photo Stylus) which prints just as nice, because, even though more expensive to operate (paper and ink costs), the convenience of printing out a picture NOW is very nice. Disclaimer: inkjet prints will fade over time, keep 'em behind glass if you can, and definately keep the original files! At any rate, whether you print them on a good inkjet or have them printed at a commercial site like vendor, the prints will look every bit as good as "traditional photos".

Gimp (2, Informative)

berzerke (319205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792058)

When digitizing my photos, I've found Gimp to be really helpful. Especially the image->colors->curves (although this takes practice and patience) and image->color->levels. The levels auto button does an excellent job, although sometimes I still have to manually tweak it. The clone tool has also proven useful. And gimp is open-source, free, and available for windoze users too.

Also helpful are some of the scanner tutorials out on the web. My scans improved considerably after reading just one. I wish I had read it before I bought my scanner. I would have bought a different scanner if I had.

Output (1)

EddydaSquige (552178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792059)

What options are there for those folks looking to make near-picture-quality hardcopies of their digital photos for inclusion in their albums?

A Dye-sub (or related technology) is the way to go. It looks damn good (much better that than the best inkjet) and it's as archival as a normal c-Print. But getting a lot made is costly, around $15 (I think?) at one of those kodak stations at your local one-hour, or $30 for a Fujix print. The best way to go is to get one of those Olympus printers for $700, it will pay for it self quickly if you have a lot of prints to do.

iPhoto (1)

tetsuotheironman (321438) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792061)

A major reason for buying my digital camera was because I could take more photos cheaper.. But after a while I realized that I don't have anything tangible to show anyone.. I could go to Kinko's or whatever and print them out.. but I'm kinda lazy... My daughter just turned 1.. and for mother's day I assembled a 35 page book of pictures and captions in iPhoto and printed out a nice book to give to my wife.. I've decided to do this every year to archive photos.. I also like how I just upload the pictures and they will send high quality pics to my door.. (which still allows me to be lazy) I also maintain a small website to show off pictures to family..

Epson Photo Paper/Printer (5, Informative)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792064)

I have an Epson 785EXP, complete with internal compactflash reader and LCD screen. (not bad for $300!)

I prints photolab quality photos on Epson paper, with a advertised lifespan of 25 years. I have figured I can print digital photo's for much lower cost than at the local mall, although I don't know if it can compete with online printing.

I can print photo's directly from my compactflash cards, with previews of the photo on the LCD screen without intervention on a PC...pc doesn't even have to be hooked up. The LCD is a $99 addon. Amazon has the Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX Inkjet Printer []
for about $190. I have been absolutely astounded by the quality of the output.

May be worth looking into.


The answer is simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792070)

Automated scanners that can flip through albums, detect the borders of the pictures and scan away. I can feel a business idea here...

Slide scanner (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792071)

One otehr thought - get a high quality dedicated slide/negative scanner if you plan to digitize a lot of images. The advantages include:

1. You get more of the information from the original medium - printing invariably loses some of the details, especially those done by instant photo places. Prints also fade in the light.

2. You get all of your images digitized - even ones for which you've lost prints.

3. You can continue to shoot slides, which offer better quality images that negatives. (Ultimately, its the eye behind the viewfinder that counts, not the equipment.)

Digital Photography (1)

mtnbkr (8981) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792072)

First off, the best info is probably found at It's a photo forum, but they talk about digital issues quite often.

As an amateur photographer, I have yet to be impressed by digital equipment. By the time you get into a system that can equal a mid level film camera, you have spent several times more than you would have on a pro level film system. IMO, the biggest benefit is convenience. You can take a picture and have it color corrected, modified, printed, and ready to frame in a very short period of time.

If you want to go the scanner/printer route, get a good inkjet or dyesub printer. From what I've seen, color lasers are not there yet. Dyesub is the best, but most expensive. Olympus makes a great dyesub printer that can do 8x12. The results look like a standard photograph (smooth colors, no striations or other printing marks). It's about $800. If I were to go digital, that's what I'd buy. I'm not up to speed on scanners. From what I do know, flatbeds are a compromise. The best is drum scanning, but it is expensive.
Software-wise, it seems Photoshop is the tool of choice.


Good question (1)

lateralus (582425) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792078) [] would be a really good place to get the answer. If you do go there do yourself a favor and search the archives before posting.

I just completed such a project (1)

yndrd (529288) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792080)

I converted more than 2000 photos to digital format on a CD, where I also have all of my softcopy writings, scanned legal papers, and other important documents. I still keep alternate versions of these things; I just wanted a single small item to grab in case of fire or hurricane or something, and one to keep offsite. I guess that makes me obsessive compulsive.

I actually had a great time doing it. I used Paint Shop Pro with good results, placing four pictures at a time on the scanner bed and then cropping them into separate images. Sometimes I did some image enhancement, especially with the older photos. A photo of my mother and my grandmother taken fifty years ago looks like it was taken last week with my wife's Canon T50. I had fun sorting and identifying them, too: "Let's see...when did I have that shirt? 1982?" Nohing adds perspective to your life like looking at all your bad haircuts over the years.

I did about 100 a night. I thought of doing something automated but there's no way to intelligently sort and name them that way (without going back and redoing it).

Now I just keep up with the photos I take. I'm hoping--perhaps vainly--that any updates to electronic photo formats will allow batch processes. I'm not sure what the lifespan of the JPEG format will be, but I'm pretty sure some enterprising person will develop a conversion tool from that to the next format.

"this arduous and possibly over-daunting task" (2)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792087)

Let me tell you.... If you do go the scanner/graphics software route, it's a lot of work.

My wife an I have a Family History Project online: The Arbutus Project [] (very slashdot susceptable! please go easy!). Try going here [] to get to the picture index. We've collected genealogical data, as well as choice scanned photos from our own photo albums and that of family members. Audio interviews are just starting, and video is a few years away (my computer's too wimpy)

On of the really cool things is if you do have an indexing system for your whole family (something that comes with a genealogy project, but is a lot of baggage with just a photo project) is that all your families photos become seamless. You can see a photo album for yourself, or for your wife, or for your kids, or for your grandfather, with just a few mouse clicks.

Today's pictures aren't much better than 300dpi, and I've got an old Microtek E6 scanner (bought new, just before the prices dropped). I scan at 300dpi for new, higher for old (when pictures were much better resolution, try looking at them with a magnifying glass.) Try not to cringe if you happen to get those awful square early colour photos with the bumps or hexagonal cells from the 70's. Save 'em all as PNGs, store those to CD for later, then batch them all to a good web size for online viewing.

It is a LOT of work, and I'd suggest that you focus on only the select shots from your albums, perhaps just the best 10%. Most photos are junk anyways. You don't really really need that pic of the cute neighbour kid your grandad grew up with.

Expect it to take several months of work just to get the photos scanned and organized in any fashion.

my $.02 (1)

512k (125874) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792089)

if you're looking to go from analog->digital, consider buying a scanner that has a paper feed, if you paste down your photos on a letter size page, this will speed up the process of scanning them in. And once they're digital, take advantage of the fact that you can make infinite copies of them. Burn them on CDs and give them away to family members. As long as someone has a copy, and the means to duplicate it, in the next media format that comes along, your photos will survive.

For going the other way, if you don't want to invest in a good color printer, you could take your prints to a copy store..and have them printed one a digital copier and use heavy glossy paper. If you scale them to a standard size, and put 2-4 on a page, they can take all your printed pages, and you'll have photo sized pictures, that are just about photo quality. (asuming the photo was high resolution to start with)

Forget analog anything, go dv (1)

./ (13859) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792102)

My wife and I forsook our 35mm for a Sony Digital8 camcorder. The benefits:

- Digital8/MiniDV so no generation loss when converting physical media formats

- Firewire port means instant accessibility to computer *or* a different dv camcorder (to help convert media! :)

- Never get a precious picture with a sneeze again! Single stepping through frames means getting the best possible shot. Always.

My son's website was built entirely from a Sony TRV 310 to B&W G3 Mac w/ PhotoDV. First gen Digital8 cam so ... fair quality, but the new VX2000 will help with that.

Re:Forget analog anything, go dv (1)

pmsr (560617) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792162)

A pity that DV has only 720x480 pixels for NTSC, and 720x576 for PAL. Not to mention that those images are compressed with MPEG1, or MPEG2 in the case of those "it's easy to part a fool from it's money" MicroMV models from Sony, like the DCR-IP7.
But if it is good enough for you, who am i to disagree?


Photo paper (2, Interesting)

jpm242 (202316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792116)

My local photo shop which is also the best one in the city can print from any digital source. They have the technilogy to do it. You can also have photos printed from the web. Upload your images and have them mailed to you.

In fact, they've switched to digital in the lab. If you develop a 35mm roll, thye will scan it and print from the scanned images using their digital enlarger. The result, using a good 3.1 megapixel camera is indiscernible from traditionnal pictures for sizes up to 8x10.

Have a great 3 day week-end for the other fols up there. And the store is LLLozeau in Montreal, QC.


Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792120)

This is an example of the ridiculous consumer society that is 'computers' these days. What is wrong with keeping photographs in a binder? It's a proven, cheap and reliable way of storing pictures...

And what about all the bogus reasons people come up with to justify their spending hundreds and thousands on new equipment every two years just to take pictures? I mean you need a computer, a digital camera, a good color printer, various gadgets like more memory, ink cartridges, cables, CD burners... Why? What's wrong with a 100$ 35mm camera and 4$ rolls of film?

Do you take such good pictures you can't wait a day for the pharmacy to develop them? 'Oh but sometimes it can take two days, and what about weekends?' Sweet Jesus, I'm glad those pressing problems have been solved!!!

It's amazing to see adults act like little children when it comes to computers. I'm sure I'll offend lots of people and they'll get all upset because I think they're wasting their lives with silly gadgetry.

Computers are great at creating problems where none existed, and 'solving' them at great expense. Ridiculous.

Film and print life (3, Informative)

LetterJ (3524) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792122)

Many geeks (who are not also photo geeks) don't realize that color print film and color slide film don't have the longest life unless you take very good care of them. Black and white film and prints that are washed to archival standards will last longer than you, but color film and prints can degrade quickly. Acid (in non acid-free papers, UV, light and heat are the enemy of photos. If you want your negatives to last, store them sealed in plastic (like ziplock) in a freezer.

If you're looking to make prints on an inkjet printer, be aware that MOST of the inks sold for inkjets will fade VERY quickly. Accidently leave them in the car on the passenger seat and they'll be totally washed out when you leave work. Several printers are starting to have archival inks, which when combined with archival paper will last as long as color prints and some will last longer.

Prints from digital are decent from places like,, (my favorite), and others.

For people who normally would shoot 35mm or APS and get nothing but 4x6's and an occasional 5x7, the consumer digital cameras are a replacement. Not because 3 megapixel is equivalent to 35mm, but because most consumers don't take advantage of even the resolution that 35mm uses, much less medium or large format film.

I consider the storage and organization of a photo archive a sort of separate problem from web and print albums and photo sharing. An archiving solution will let you find a file or negative easily and make a decision based on some sort of thumbnail or contact sheet. From an archive, photos can be pulled to be shared in albums, sent in email, posted to a website, printed for framing etc.

Scanning 1500 photos (1)

ecarlson (325598) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792124)

I asked a similar question on the Olympus Talk forum at DPReview [] .

I wanted to know the quickest way to scan 1500 photos into my computer. If I could scan 3 at a time on a fast scanner that takes 60 seconds to scan, it would take over 8 hours. If I used a stand and my digital camera to photograph each one, if it took 5 seconds per photo, it would take over 2 hours.

Is there a page feed scanner that can feed 4x6 and 3x5 prints?

Also, a great way to get real photo quality prints from your digital images is to get them printed at [] . They're inexpensive, very high quality, and they're printed on real photo paper.

PS: I have some of my recent digital albums on my web site.

Some Warnings (1)

1gig (102295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792126)

Fist things first if you really do plan on converting your photos to a digital format make sure the photo lab you use is not using a digital process. The digital mini-labs use a digital printer to print out the picture. Now when you go and scan this digitaly produced picture it will look like crap ( you can see the ink dots used to produce the print ). So find yourself a good old chem process mini-lab or do the 3 day turn out service. You will be much happier with the results.

Now on to actualy scanning them. While you are scanning be sure to scan at a high enough resulotion so that they will work well with future high res printers. I normaly do 600-1200dpi when scanning a print.

On the other hand if you are really serious about it don't even bother with a flat bed scanner. Go out and get yourself a neg scanner that will scan the neg at the 4000dpi range. This will get far more information from the image than a flat bed will. If you are doing this on Linux go get VueScan as you will need it to make your neg scanner work.

Personly I have both a neg scanner and a flat bed scanner. General stuff I do on the flat bed but for those images that I really want to save for the future or that have allot of detail I use the neg scanner. You can't bet the neg scanner for getting every little detail out of a neg as you do loose some things when the image is transfered to paper.

Stick with the photo album (1)

SparkyMartin (206236) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792135)

I have never seen anything that matches the ease and pleasure of just sitting down and flipping thru and old photo album. You can sit at the kitchen table or livingroom sofa with six other people drinking coffee, tea, or beer while you reminisce. Try sitting half a dozen people around your computer with your gallery program.

Plus what happens if you scratch the photoalbum> Nothing! What happens if you accidently step on the album? Nothing? Drive over it? Nothing! Pull it out of the pool that you accidently dropped it onto? After drying it off-nothing! Try that with your cdroms or HD, and remember Murphy, he's got a crappy law that seems to come true too often.

Basically what I'm saying here is that a photograph is permanent and even with abuse the can last longer than a lifetime. Do you think that your grandkids will want to sit at a computer inserting old ancient CD's looking at old family photos? I doubt it, but they wll always want to flip thru a photoalbum.

But for those photos that you want to covert into digital format, a really cool app is FlipAlbum [] . It's almost as friendly as a real photoalbum.

Scanning/Printing options (1)

Daedalus_ (38808) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792154)

I work at a photo shop that caters mostly to professional photographers and consumers with special needs (retouching, etc). We recently bought a new processing machine that scans negatives at insanely high resolutions, and can print photos directly from CD, smart media, zip disk, etc. as well as doing traditional photo processing. The digital prints from this machine look exactly like 'normal' photos.

Try looking for a photo shop near you that offers digital services.

You can have them printed (1)

Wouter Van Hemel (411877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792159)

What options are there for those folks looking to make near-picture-quality hardcopies of their digital photos for inclusion in their albums?

Some photographers and shops here can print them for you, or even write them on cdrom (if you can't do that yourself for some reason). I think it's pretty cool that they evolve with the market - well, I guess they have to.

I haven't seen any of those printed pictures myself yet, but I've heard they're pretty good quality, not very different from 'real' pictures.

what about quality? (1)

Hellasboy (120979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792166)

I'm also interested in doing something like this but am wondering what resolution do I scan the image at for good archival purposes?

Here's my method. (1)

Hans Lehmann (571625) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792174)

I switched to digital photography about six months ago, but I still have a huge number of old 35mm nagatives, slides & prints that I've slowly been digitizing. My preference is to scan the negatives onto CDR, making two copies of each disk in case one goes bad. I then throw out all those shoe boxes filled with old 4"x6" prints, but I save the original negatives that the prints were made from. I post collections of old images on our family web site, making occasional prints for those that don't have computers. Family members that live across the country get to see pictures that they otherwise wouldn't be able to, I free up a lot of closet space, and I still have the original data (the negatives) in case everything goes kablooey. I'm using a HP Photosmart S20 scanner, which handles negative strips, mounted slides, and paper originals up to 5"x7". It's still a tedious process however, but when I have a free evening I'll crack open a beer,go through a few rolls of film, and marvel at all the pictures I had pretty much forgotten about.

Never going back (1)

Occam's Hammer (463213) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792186)

I am a filmmaker/photographer and have been resisting the idea of digital 'film' for a long time. I shoot medium format film for my gallery work and have always shot 35mm for my travel and everyday images. I recently bought a Sony Dsc P3 and am never looking back. I will continue to shoot my gallery work on film but for snapshots you can't beat digital.

This camera is small enough that it fits in my pocket and I take it everywhere. When a great photo opportunity comes up, I find it much easier to take a photo when I have a camera with me.

With the savings in developing and printing I bought a large memory stick and can take 90 images at 1920X1440 which is more than enough resolution to print an 8x10 photograph (not a die sub or inkjet, a photograph). I can't print 11x14 but I have shot over 35,000 personal photographs and have never blown a snapshot up to 11x14 anyway.

The next thing I did was to research an easy way to post and access the images from anywhere. I found and am very happy with their service. For $25 per year you can post up to 1500 images at up to 5 megs each! That is a lot of images. If, like me, you shoot more than that you can add to your storage space for a flat rate of $20/1500 (one time charge). This service is great! With the $25 service you can control the layout of your gallery and there are no ads. Very nice. I pass the URL around( and my friends and family can look at them and even order photographs from the site.

I am a fan of albums myself, but not every image you shoot ends up in the album (hopefully) With the online services you can order prints of the images you want fairly inexpensively without having to process and print the rejects too. You can put these in you physical album. Best of both worlds.

An important element in managing all of these images is a good image viewer and editor. I use ACDsee for this. You can batch rotate images and batch rename images (I use the date and a count). It also has offline albums so you can archive to cd and still look at thumbnails offline so you know what is on the disk. If you are extremely patient, you can add titles and keywords to the metadata in the images and search your archive by keywords!

I have not yed decided how to tackle the daunting task of digitizing previous images and I may not. When I want to listen to my elvis 8-tracks, I pull out the 8-track player. As for the future, the line has been drawn and, for me, it is digital.
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